Zwaanendael Museum explores Delaware’s Dutch heritage

9 April 2015 — 25 April 2015
102 Kings Highway, Lewes, DE, United States Lewes (DE) Show on map | add to calendar

During the month of April 2015, the Zwaanendael Museum will present four special programs for public enjoyment. Three of these programs will explore Delaware’s long-standing connection to the Netherlands which stretches back in time to the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch in 1631 in present-day Lewes.

From Thursday to Saturday, April 9 to 11, the museum will feature Dutch games, crafts and a display of Delftware ceramics as part of the Lewes Tulip Celebration, a city-wide series of activities celebrating Lewes’ Dutch roots.

On Saturday, April 18, the museum will celebrate Dutch-American Friendship Day which commemorates April 19, 1782, the day that John Adams, who would later become the second president of the United States, was received by the States General in The Hague and recognized as Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America. It was also the day that the house he had purchased at Fluwelen Burgwal 18 in The Hague was to become the first American embassy in the world. The day’s festivities will include a 2 p.m. lecture by Mike Tyler, advocacy chairman for Sussex Cyclists, an all-volunteer group promoting safe cycling in coastal Sussex County, who will discuss bicycling in Lewes and the Netherlands; the importance of bicycling in Dutch society, and bicycle safety and history. Finally, on Saturday, April 25, the museum will present King’s Day, a celebration of the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

In addition to its Dutch-themed programs, the museum is participating in the Wilmington University Alumni Association’s Wildcat Prowl in Lewes which is presenting two days of activities in Delaware’s historic first town.

The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin (architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover), the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped facade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters. The museum’s exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history.

Thursday–Saturday, April 9–11, 2015
Lewes Tulip Celebration. City-wide series of activities celebrating Lewes’ Dutch heritage including Dutch games, crafts and a display of Delftware ceramics at the Zwaanendael Museum. Sponsored by the Lewes Chamber of Commerce. Downtown Lewes. 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Saturday, April 18, 2015
Dutch-American Friendship Day. Discover Delaware’s Dutch roots and learn how that connection is alive today. Event features a program at 2 p.m. on bicycling in the Netherlands and Delaware. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 25, 2015
King’s Day. Celebration of the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in a program that will also explore royal titles and Delaware’s Dutch connection. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.